SC hospitals to test newborns for heart defects

By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A new state law requires hospitals to test newborns for congenital heart defects within 48 hours of birth.

It's named for Emerson Rose Smith, who died in 2011 at 2 1/2 months old. The law takes effect in September and can be credited to her parents, Susan and Jason Smith of Clemson. They say their faith is helping them turn a devastating loss into a lifesaver.

The Smiths have committed to providing all 43 birthing hospitals in South Carolina with the devices they need to comply with the law.

Their foundation has spent $16,500 on 36 devices that detect heart malformations by measuring blood oxygen levels. They've also given more than $23,000 to support families.

The American Heart Association says South Carolina becomes the 21st state with such a law.

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